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SimpleTech 320gb external suddenly only half-recognized

Hi and thanks in advance, oh wise ones.

Despite my best precautions, my home laptop finally caught a virus I couldn't remove, so eventually I decided to reformat (WinXP). I made sure to back up everything I needed onto my SimpleTech Pininfarina 320GB external drive, which I've been using for a year with no problems.

When I tried to get my old files back from the drive...I ran into problems. Windows is recognizing a new even calls it by name in the Device Manager...but it's either not showing up in "my computer", or when it does show up, if I click on it, it just hangs up my system. The drive also tends to randomly hang up the system just from being on...when I turn it off suddenly everything kicks back into gear.

I assumed the problem was the fault of my reformat, but when I brought the drive into work and plugged it into my 2-week-old desktop (also XP) it's the same story. I took apart the case and made sure all connections were solid but it was no help.

I'm at the end of my rope here as there is a lot of important stuff on that drive, like all my kids' baby photos. In the time between everything being loaded on and the problem arising the drive was not moved from the desk or otherwise suffer any impact.

Any thoughts?

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Re: external hard disk

In reply to: SimpleTech 320gb external suddenly only half-recognized

A backup is only a backup as long as you have the originals. Delete those and a backup is your only copy. Which means that you have no backup any more.

See if putting the drive in a new box helps.


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In reply to: Re: external hard disk

yeah, well, the original setup was that I had all this stuff on the laptop, and I regularly backed-up to the external. The reformat plan was to wipe the laptop and then re-load all that stuff back onto it, all within a day.

I don't think it was irresponsible of me to not make a backup of a backup considering that burning all that stuff to CD would have taken a week (problems with the DVD burner was one of the reasons for the wipe) and the external drive was working fine that morning.

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Just bad luck.

In reply to: backups

Hope you can recover it without resorting to expensive services.

Also see ramarcs post in

And it's free to try the recovery software mentioned by Bob in

If you've got some time to browse through this forum, you'll notice how many posts are about losing data on an external hard disk. Once you realise that, it seems a little bit more irresponsible than before.

Best of luck.


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In reply to: Just bad luck.

I'll try all that stuff.

Yeah, I suppose due to Murphy's Law of course I should have expected it to die within that tiny window. Lesson learned I suppose.


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In reply to: SimpleTech 320gb external suddenly only half-recognized

Oh, I should also mention, I have already tried: every one of the USB ports, updating the drivers, uninstalling then reinstalling from Device Manager, Troubleshoot through Device Manager (this device is working properly), and populate.

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(WinXP) is the clue here.

In reply to: SimpleTech 320gb external suddenly only half-recognized

Since you only have (WinXP) then it does not support drives over 320gb until you install the service pack. While it's wrong to think of external drives as backup when you reduce your copies to one and only one the words in your post are all I have to work with.

Let's hope you get lucky after you update windows.

Also, it's proper for the USB ports to not work if you installed some Retail copy of (WinXP). Here's why. Microsoft does not supply USB and motherboard drivers. For laptops we want to use the makers restore feature.

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I don't think that's it

In reply to: (WinXP) is the clue here.

I understand what you're saying...but if that is the case, I'm confused as to why the external drive worked fine on my desktop at work as recently as last week, and then today when I brought it in it's giving me the same problems as on the re-installed laptop. In both cases I've brought XP fully up to date with all windows update downloads.

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Be sure to note such in your posts.

In reply to: I don't think that's it

I only have your posts to work with here and if you omit details such as XP Service Pack 2 Home which tells me exactly what the OS is then I'll offer the thought above.

I still see issues that you can clear up such as Microsoft never supplies the drivers for motherboard and more. I can't count the times...

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In reply to: Be sure to note such in your posts.

Apologies. I'm not tech-savvy enough to know what info to provide to you, I guess.

At home, I reloaded it using the Windows XP service Pack 2 that came with the Dell Laptop. From there I did all my updating through the "windows update" function within windows. I don't have it with me here at work so I may not be able to provide further technical info. Before reinstalling, I did back up all my drivers using a program (forgot the name) that did a great job providing me with everything I needed to get everything else up and running.

At work, I am running XP Pro x64 edition, version 2003, SP2. This desktop was purchased new for me just a couple of weeks ago and no major reformatting/deleting has been done on it. I did all the windows updating as soon as it arrived. It had no problem accessing this external drive last week when I uploaded some MP3 files from the external drive to my new machine.

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That Dell laptop should have

In reply to: ok

Some supplemental CD for the drivers. Dell has the drivers for your machine if you go to and enter in the service tag.

Your install seems off beat. Why the need to save drivers and restore them with any tool since we have proper methods such as the supplemental CD or This makes me wonder if the install was botched.

". It had no problem accessing this external drive last week when I uploaded some MP3 files from the external drive to my new machine."

If this drive is working with the other machine, this confirms the install was botched. Try again but try it per Dell's install instructions.

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In reply to: That Dell laptop should have

Bob - it's *not* working on the other machine. It's not working in either machine, in exactly the same way. That's why I believe it's the drive itself, not the re-install.

I see that I did not mention that I *did* do the re-install from the supplemental CDs provided when I bought the machine. The use of the tool was just a safety precaution...with the ONE exception of this backup-of-a-backup incident, I am extremely thorough in always having a "plan B". Leftovers from Eagle Scout training I suppose.

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Plan B

In reply to: no

Now try these free to try programs that will let you see what they'll get back. Find with google.


Good luck,

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